In Iain M. Banks's "Culture" novels, the Culture's most powerful and sophisticated weapons are effectors, electromagnetic manipulation devices capable of remotely reading and controlling computers and biological minds.
In Alastair Reynolds's most recent novel, Revenger, there is a brief reference to a device called an effector. A robot is able to defeat and reprogram an electronic door mechanism:
The door had a wheel on it, just like the one in the Monetta. I tried it once, and it was as stiff as if it had been welded in place. But I knew that robots could speak to locks and doors, and I wasn't surprised when Peregrine made the door click, the wheel whirred in my hand and I was in.
'The door will lock itself when you leave,' Peregrine said. 'But if I were you I wouldn't spend too long in there.'
'I'm not intending to. But if I needed to come back tomorrow, or the day after...'
'You won't need me. I made a small adjustment to the door's settings - nothing that will get either of us in trouble. It will think your bracelet is a passkey.'
Later there is a discussion with another robot about how he did it:
"I met a robot who could get through locks. Why can't you?"
"There is a lot that I cannot do, Fura. The robot you met may have had an effector module. Mine was deinstalled when they put in my blockades. Besides, there are other considerations."
Prior to this, I've never heard of effectors outside of Banks's Culture novels, and Google seems to agree. Is there some precursor that both Banks and Reynolds are drawing on? Or is the use of an effector in Revenger a reference to the The Culture?